Turn right from The Pheasant and pass Sunnyside before turning right again, over a stile, and climbing steeply up through the wood.

Negotiate a stile at the top, cross the field to another, then turn left along the lane.

At Elephant’s Track cottage turn left again to pass Hill Farm and walk under the Haunted Bridge.

Turn right over two stiles immediately after the bridge to see Peckforton village nestling below, with views over to the Pennine foothills on a clear day.

Keep right along the sandstone wall for a short way before dropping down past two oak trees (one hollow), then walking beside a fence to a stile.

From here skirt to the right of a wood and overgrown quarry to the huge and gnarled Gospel Oak. Then drop down to the road through a pretty fir plantation.

Turn right along Stone House Lane, then immediately left at the crossroad down Peckforton Hall Lane, towards Bunbury. Pass Manor Farm and turn left just before Peckforton Hall, waymarked to Beeston and Bunbury.

Keep to the right of the fenced-in lime tree, then veer left before the hall’s entrance to walk alongside the fence, then a hawthorn hedge, where the full extent of the wooded Peckforton ridge is revealed.

Keep along the farm track and enjoy a splendid view of the two castles, separated in age by several centuries.

Cross the field in the same direction as you’ve come. Negotiate the ditch at the far side, then veer slightly left across the next field, where a stile in the hedge leads onto the road.

Then turn back along the road until you see the lodge of Peckforton Castle on your left.

Opposite is an ancient oak, its trunk’s girth measuring 21 feet.

Just before reaching the lodge climb over the stile in the hedge on your right, walking towards Beeston Moss and Bunbury.

Cross the field diagonally, aiming for the left-hand edge of Willis’ Wood until you spot the stile into it.

Follow the path through the wood, then pass the pond and keep ahead over the field to join the track to the right of the farm ahead.

Cross this, go along a short track and turn left along the road.

Pass an ancient cottage and Brook Farm, then follow the signs to Beeston Castle.

Turn left at the junction, right at the cottage with the Victorian post box and right again past a converted chapel.

Atop a high, craggy outcrop rising 300 feet from the plain below, Beeston Castle was built by Ranulf, Earl of Chester, in 1220.

A steep climb from the outer walls takes you to a moat, still spanned by a drawbridge.

The view from the castle is stupendous, spanning eight counties on a clear day.

After visiting the castle turn right from the gatehouse, walking beside the castle wall to the public car park and Castle Snacks.

From here continue through a snicket, bear left at a fork and walk along the Sandstone Trail down through the wood.

Cross the road and follow the path ahead (waymarked to Grindley Brook), over fields, a stream and another field.

Then turn right onto a lane (waymarked to Bulkeley Hill) and you soon pass the attractive Moathouse Farm complex.

Keep ahead where the Sandstone Trail veers left into Peckforton Woods.

At the wood’s end veer right diagonally across a field. Keep to the left of the telegraph pole at the far end, then walk beside the wood until you turn right along a path into it and cross a stream.

Cross a rubberised electric fence, then continue along the side of two fields, keeping the wood on your left.

Turn right down through the wood, then left over two stiles separated by a stream. Keep ahead with the hedge on your left to a stile in the corner by the farm.

Bear left here to cross a ditch by a plank, then keep ahead over the facing field, making for two oak trees at the far end.

Pass to the left of these, climb over a stile by a gate and drop down to cross another stream. Then walk alongside the wood and turn right over a stile.

Leave this field by a corner stile, just past Outlanes Farm.

Turn left up the lane. At the end of the first field turn left over a stile – where the hedge angles left.

Walk uphill, cutting off the corner, to climb over the stile at the top. Then turn right along the hedge to the lane, where you turn right again back to The Pheasant.

Taken from Best Pub Walks in Cheshire by Jen Darling, published by Northern Eye.